Garland ISD athletic director retires after 68 years

Athletic director retires after 68 years

For Homer Johnson this Friday night was a little different. He has 68 years worth of football Friday nights under his belt. 

It becomes clear very early on that Homer Johnson is right at home when he's near a football field; particularly when the stadium is named after him.

"I played everything when I was in school...but football was it," Homer said. 

Calling him a legend would be falling short of who he is to Garland ISD. He never left Garland after he went to a different high school his sophomore year. Johnson tells News 8 that he was the Class of 1945. At 20 years old he was named an assistant coach and by the time he was 23 he was head coach. After doing that  that many years he was named Athletic Director for the district. 

"My motto is 'have fun'...so we had fun," said Johnson. 

But as he sat in the stands Friday night he was just a fan. Early this week Homer retired from Garland after 68 years. He's reminded of the words of the coach he succeeded way back when.

"He looked me right in the eye and said 'if you get people to like ya, you sure are hard to fire.'" 

It is evident very early on that everyone likes Homer. As soon as he walks into the stadium he is flanked by people who know him. But he says he relishes in the kids he's coached over the years; some of whom have gone on to have productive professional sports careers. 

When you give so much to one thing sometimes it's good to just sit back and see what it produces. 

"If they're playin'...I'm gonna be there," he said. 

A special ceremony in his honor is scheduled at a football game in October. The district says it has received a lot of interest from the public about the event. Johnson is scheduled to do the coin-toss at that game.

Copyright 2016 WFAA


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